$4.5 Bil. Dell Goes to WPP

BOSTON Computer giant Dell said it has tapped WPP Group for global marketing services chores.

London-based WPP prevailed over Interpublic Group of New York in the final round of a review.

Revenue on the account, which includes advertising, digital, direct marketing and media duties, is estimated at $100 million. Dell spends approximately $700 million annually in global measured media. The client in Round Rock, Texas, said the business is worth $4.5 billion in billings over three years.

In a statement, Dell said WPP would create a new global integrated marketing and communications firm: “Together with the WPP agency, Dell is creating a new marketing model designed to further propel Dell’s growth. We’ve been calling this ‘Project DaVinci’ because we’ve been looking for the combination of artist and scientist—an agency that has both the creative horsepower and ability to measure the business impact of their work.”

“Heresy” was said to be the working name for WPP’s proposed unit. IPG initially offered different agencies in different disciplines but switched to a dedicated agency proposal in the latter stages of the review, said sources.

WPP and IPG in September emerged from a pack of five holding companies that also included Publicis Groupe, Havas and Omnicom Group.

In the U.S., Dell’s creative business was split between independent shop Mother in New York, which has handled consumer-directed duties, and Omnicom’s DDB in Chicago, which had business-directed chores. Omnicom’s Prometheus in Chicago has handled domestic media duties.

Dell last month launched an integrated holiday campaign from Mother that features celebrities such as Burt Reynolds, Vivica Fox and Brooke Burke.